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The 2017 Annual PACSTX Conference will take place from Wednesday, September 13th to Friday, September 15th at the Hilton Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hotel Accommodations:
Hilton Fort Worth 
815 Main St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Room Rates: $165 per room per night- be sure to mention “Providers Alliance for Community Services of Texas” to receive the correct room rate 


Registration Costs:                                                                                               


Before 8/11/2016

After 8/11/2016

PACSTX Members






3 or more people from the same company (Members)



3 or more people from the same company (Non-Members)



Wednesday Only




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Conference Schedule:

Wednesday, September 13
Track Speaker Description
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Speed Dating with Exhibitors
1:00-1:30 Welcome Mason Morgan, President
1:30-2:30 Rising Tide:  How a Car Wash is Changing the Lives of People with Autism Tom and John D’Eri- Rising Tide Car Wash Watching his son Andrew – a vibrant, lighthearted individual with Autism – struggle to find his place in the world, seasoned entrepreneur John D’Eri spent countless hours thinking about what Andrew would do when he was no longer there to support him. As Andrew grew up, John saw that although he was becoming a very capable young man, there were virtually no employment opportunities for Andrew after he aged out of the school system. John wanted to build an example, big, bold and out there, that other companies would want to emulate.  He wanted to open a business that would educate the community by putting employees with Autism in front of customers.   In 2011, when Andrew was 21, John had the novel idea to buy a car wash to employ Andrew and other people with Autism. This idea evolved into a groundbreaking social enterprise, Rising Tide Car Wash. Rising Tide is a high-quality, Flex Serv, conveyorized car wash.  John with his other son, Tom D’Eri, opened the Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida, in 2013, and today they employ 35 men and women with Autism.
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:45 Breakouts
Medical Track Implementation of the Statewide Hubs Project Kathleen Williamson- Texana Center, Veronica Longoria-Hub Learning Community, Lacey J. Eaton- MHMR of Tarrant County, Mary Chavez-Harrington- Hill Country MHDD Centers DADS has contracted with 8 LIDDAs across the state to serve as resources that will provide educational opportunities, technical assistance, and case reviews to the providers in their area. The overall goal of these services is to support the providers who serve individuals at risk of going into or those transitioning from state supported living centers and nursing facilities. This panel discussion will address the development and implementation of the 8 statewide hubs, the assessment of needs in their respective areas, and the services being offered by each.
Business Track Medicaid Eligibility Rachel Urban-HHSC HHSC Medicaid eligibility staff will review the most common issues faced by providers assisting individuals and families in maintaining Medicaid eligibility and will discuss best practices for addressing these issues as they occur.
Life Enrichment Track Creative Day Programs Lauren Black, Reach Unlimited Constructing educational opportunities through creative day programming enhances the quality of life and links individuals to community options and possibilities.  This session will review some of the opportunities provided to clients at the Reach Unlimited Learning Activity Center.   Curricular programming options, accessing community support,  and creating opportunities for every participant in the program to earn a paycheck will be shared.
3:45- 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:00 Breakouts
Medical Track Seizure Management and Fall Prevention Jennifer Lopez, BSN, RN-  State Health Services Director, ResCare, Inc. Seizure management is complicated:  finding the right neurologist, finding an effective medication, taking medications as prescribed, completing routine labs, eating healthy, avoiding triggers and educating family, friends, co-workers and care givers on how to help you when you have a seizure.  But what fall prevention plans are in place for the individual related to his or her seizure disorder?  Individuals with seizure disorders are at greater risk for bone breaks, head injuries and lacerations/contusions from falls, all of which are considered reportable critical incidents.  This session will focus on seizure management strategies and the development of fall prevention plans for persons at risk of falls related to seizure activity.
Business Track Provider Services Update Kathy Griffith, Co-Chair of the PACSTX Provider Services Committee, South Texas Regional Director, DayBreak/Unified Care Group Provider Services Committee conference calls have been invaluable in keeping PACTSX members up to date across so many provider services topics.  Kathy Griffith does an incredible job summarizing important provider services information in writing and on conference calls for members.  This session will be an in person version of the Provider Services Committee conference calls.  Updates will focus on:  DADS transition into HHSC, regulatory leadership changes, HCS Waiver Survey & Certification issues, rule changes, new rules, StarPlus acute care/MCO issues, UR activities, CFC Waiver update, ICF vacancy issues, HCS/Texas Home Living enrollments, High Medical Needs Program updates, and the future transition of IDD services into managed care.  This session will prove to be very informative.
Life Enrichment Track Job Readiness and Job Carving Tom and John D’Eri- Rising Tide Car Wash Job carving is the act of analyzing work duties performed in a given job and identifying specific tasks that might be assigned to an employee with disabilities.  Job carving or job creation, is typically utilized with individuals in supported employment collaborations, for a variety of reasons, including disability, available supports, and choice. The utmost care must be taken in this process to ensure that the jobs created value people with disabilities by integrating the jobs created in the general work force in public settings.  There are many variables associated with the job carving process.  Please join Tom D’Eri and John D’Eri as they describe the partnerships and processes they used to successfully develop job carving and job readiness for persons with Autism at the Rising Tide Car Wash. This session will also include information about the entrepreneurship of getting a business like the Rising Tide up and going.
Vendor Showcase: Superior HealthPlan Superior Healthplan Overview  Marcella Gutierrez, Community Outreach Coordinator  This presentation is the life cycle of Superior HealthPlan.  Where the plan started and how it has developed and grown throughout the years.  It explains Superiors involvement in the community and breaks down all the products offered by the health plan.
Thursday, September 14
9:00 – 10:00 am Breakouts
Medical Track Sex & Relationship Education – An Innovative Approach to Changing Behaviors Michelle Garcia, Psy. D-Owner & Licensed Clinical Psychologist This hands-on and fun presentation will review a new innovative curriculum that teaches many areas of relationship building, self esteem, and sex education that is already in use in Pennsylvania and making great strides toward changing behaviors and improving knowledge for individuals diagnosed with varying disabilities. Take part in the learning methods and see why this curriculum is so exciting for making a community-wide change for older children, adolescents, adults, and older adults, as well as those who support them!
Business Track Communicating for Results:  Building Better Relationships and Getting More Done! Carl Smith, The Kevin Eikenberry Group Have you ever communicated something to someone and later felt like you had wasted your breath?  Have you ever delegated something only to find later that the work didn’t meet your expectations?  Have you ever experienced a communication breakdown that resulted in lost time, money or energy?  Have you ever found yourself saying…This is more difficult than it needs to be. They’re not hearing what I’m telling them. No matter how many times I say it, I just can’t get through to them.  Communication is difficult – yet extraordinarily important. Perhaps the single skill most correlated with career and professional success is the ability to communicate effectively.  When we learn the skills of results-oriented communication, it changes everything about our results, our productivity and even reduces our stress level. This session will focus on how to communicate in a way that produces results.
Life Enrichment Track Life on the Go – Mobile Day Programs Tony Ritter, Advantage Care Is the future of day programs as we know them in jeopardy?  This presentation will try to answer this question, as much is still unknown as to what decisions may be made on the federal level regarding how day programs should be operated.  The presenter will share two different examples of how unique and creative approaches to day programming have become reality, and how they both may be more of what may be expected in the future.
Vendor Showcase: CapGrow Partners Texas Housing- Open Forum Matt Pettinelli and Mike Skelly, CapGrow Partners The CapGrow Partners team will host an open forum addressing central topics relating to community-based housing initiatives.  Possible topics to be explored are the status of the Texas Housing market, identifying appropriate community-based homes, the significance of rising interest rates and areas the 84th Texas Legislature should be examining prior to the start of the Regular Session.
10:00 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:30 Breakouts
Medical Track Women’s Health Matters:  Staying Healthy at Every Age Kandee Morgan, AP RN Most of us are pretty disciplined about getting a periodic physical and going to the dentist.  But when and how often should you get your hearing checked?  Check your thyroid, liver and renal functions? Get a complete blood level work up?  Get a bone density screening?  Get a colon/rectal cancer screening?  Have a colonoscopy?  Get a complete skin exam?  Update your immunizations?  Get breast cancer screenings? Get pap smears? Women with IDD need preventative health screenings just like women without IDD.  However, some of these screenings many need to occur earlier or more frequently based on the woman’s disabilities and life expectancy.  What is the RN’s role in the comprehensive assessment process in identifying preventative and needed health care screenings and medical care?  What role do care providers and care coordinators have in advocating for optimal health care?  Please join this session to learn more!
Business Track Effective Communication Part 2 Carl Smith, The Kevin Eikenberry Group  This session will continue the discussion of effective communication.
Life Enrichment Track The Coffee House Program Dr. Alton Bozeman, Psy.D., Rodney Keller, BA, The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD Presenters will discuss a program for teaching social and independent living skills to adult individuals with high functioning Autism.  Specific topics include conflict resolution, self advocacy, sex education and the use or role play in social skills training.  Initial outcome data regarding the effectiveness of the training program in the area of adaptive living skills will be shared.  Program will also include a general overview of Autism including recent changes in the diagnostic criteria.
11:30-1:00 Lunch and awards, 5 minutes for sponsor speeches
1:00-2:00 Breakouts
Medical Track Have You Pooped Today? Patty Ritter, RN, Advantage Care Johnny Can’t Go?  He’s not alone!  Most of the time it’s short term and easy to fix… however, sometimes it’s not.  How do you decide? In this session we will define the difference between simple constipation and chronic constipation, and how to manage both within the IDD population.
Business Track Smooth Sailing: Preparing Newly Promoted Employees for Success Carl Smith, The Kevin Eikenberry Group Getting promoted is exciting . . . and scary. A promotion to leadership, supervision or management brings unexpected challenges and changes.  We all know the reality.  Leadership is complex to begin with, and it can be overwhelming.  The sad truth is that 40% of new managers fail within the first 18 months of promotion. Why?  Because they don’t get the training they need to be successful in their new role.  This session will focus on what your organization can do to ensure the success of newly promoted employees and first-time managers.
Life Enrichment Track A Meaningful Day- CALAB Creative Arts Center Theresa Preskey, CALAB, Inc. Imagine waking up and being excited about your day.  At the CALAB Creative Arts Center (CCAC) there is something for everyone, which includes:  learning another language, education computers, Arts & Crafts, Theater Arts, Music, development of work skills.  Do you like to cook?  Perhaps health and exercise is your thing.  Pamper yourself in the Beauty Salon and much more.  CCAC is an innovative day program experience that allows people to transition to other classes to allow for growth and development with excitement.
2:00-2:30 Break- Dessert with exhibitors
2:30-3:30 Breakouts
Medical Track Documentation Matters: Writing Strategies that Promote Successful Outcomes Brian Ketay, South Texas Community Living More than we would care to admit, our work outcomes (surveys, etc.) as well as the impression that others have of the quality of our services, depends how we well write. Technical writing in our field is paramount to our success, yet most of us really don’t enjoy it and put it off until the last minute. This session focuses on strategies to improve our technical documentation, including tailoring to our audience, how best to present details, and other specific strategies for improving our most common written creations, including implementation plans, team meetings, nursing reports, and more.
Business Track Stop the Tidal Wave:  Reducing Turnover and Building Stronger Teams Carl Smith, The Kevin Eikenberry Group For the most part, high turnover is related to employee dissatisfaction:  with the job, with the pay, with management.  In IDD services, the job and the pay are consistent across the provider base.  The one variable providers have control over is management.  Companies with low turnover are more productive because the employees know and trust each other and are better at their specific roles than a group of employees that are constantly changing. Long term employees are likely to be more loyal to the company and more willing to devote their personal energy to the job. Low turnover makes it easier for the company to focus its time and energy on the business at hand rather than adapting to new staff.  This session will focus on developing positive management and leadership practices that build strong teams and promote long term employment.
Life Enrichment Track Rockin’ the Boat:  A Place to Grow Beyond Expectations Theresa Sullivan, SAFIRE Starting a Day Hab from scratch can be an overwhelming experience, but opening a Day Hab for the young adults who have a past of rocking the boat, can be even more difficult. Hear from someone who went through it all. Funding, becoming a non-profit, hiring staff, admission requirements. We will give an overall view from day one to where we are now to where we are going.
Vendor Showcase: Scioto Real Estate Solutions for Texas Providers Scott Zdroik In this session, Scioto Properties Southwest Regional Director of Business Development, Scott Zdroik will provide valuable information on the various real estate service offerings that Scioto is able to offer Providers in Texas. In today’s environment the need is great to save time, money and have operational flexibility on the real estate side of the business so Providers can focus on the core of the business: direct support for the individuals with disabilities.
3:30- 4: 00 Break
4:00 – 5:00 Breakouts
Medical Track Men’s Preventative Healthcare:  Time for a Tune Up? Kandee Morgan, AP RN Most of us are pretty disciplined about getting a periodic physical and going to the dentist.  But when and how often should you get your hearing checked?  Check your thyroid, liver and renal functions? Get a complete blood level work up?  Get a bone density screening?  Get a colon/rectal cancer screening?  Have a colonoscopy?  Get a complete skin exam?  Update your immunizations?  Get a prostate exam? Get a cardiac work up? Men with IDD need preventative health screenings just like men without IDD.  However, some of these screenings many need to occur earlier or more frequently based on the man’s disabilities and life expectancy.  What is the RN’s role in the comprehensive assessment process in identifying preventative and needed health care screenings and medical care?  What role do care providers and care coordinators have in advocating for optimal health care?  Please join this session to learn more!
Business Track Electronic Record Panel – How to Get Started Jeff Mau, Therap, Larry Hill, Taskmaster Pro, Gregg Steinbrenner, High Impact Solutions, Nick Scharlatt, Foothold Technology The question is not if your agency will transition to electronic records, but when.  With other sectors in health related services required to adopt the Electronic Health Record, you can be sure that community IDD services will eventually be mandated to start using Electronic Health Records.  And the transition of IDD services into managed care, may push this envelop open sooner than expected.  Please join a panel discussion with our Electronic Record Systems Exhibitors as they share with attendees the process to convert paper records to electronic records.  The discussion will include the preparation required to transition, startup costs, maintenance costs, the long term savings, and the benefits of moving to an electronic records system.  Speakers will be available after the panel session for individual or small group system demonstrations.
Life Enrichment Track Relaxation Therapy Claudia Southern, Southern Consulting and Counseling This session is a participatory session.  You will learn and practice techniques that will be useful to you and the people you serve.  Claudia will lead you in guided imagery and deep relaxation.  In addition, she will show you the benefits of using essential oils and diffusers, salt lamps and the calming effect various combinations can have for both yourself and the individuals you serve.  She will tell you were to find products in case you want to participate more than just during this session.  This session is the last in the afternoon so afterwards you will be completely relaxed to enjoy the evening.
6-7:30 Reception, Live Auction
Friday, September 15th
9:00 – 9:50 Keynote- Building the Plane While Flying Diane McCombs, ANCOR States moving to managed long term services and supports (MLTSS) for people with disabilities are pioneering a funding vehicle no one has built or driven before.  While states, CMS, and managed care entities know something about managed care for medical services, none of them knows how to create and implement long term services and supports for people with disabilities under a managed care rubric.  Providers of LTSS to people with disabilities hold the key to creating successful, accountable, and visionary efforts in states implementing managed care frameworks.  States are compelled to re-design how Medicaid beneficiaries are supported to provide the right services in the amount and duration needed, for the lowest cost — including supports critical to people with disabilities.  Providers and people with disabilities understand person centeredness, self-direction, care coordination and meaningful outcomes in ways others don’t.
10:00 – 11:00 Breakouts
Medical Track Reducing the Unnecessary Use of Psychotropic Medication Donald Lackey, RPh, DADS Quality Management Why are we here?  Without proper indication and monitoring, the use of psychotropic medication is the equivalent of a chemical restraint.  Rules and legislation specify that individuals in care settings, including IDD programs, must be free from chemical restraints imposed for the purposes of discipline or convenience.   ICF and HCS rules and handbooks promote individual rights to include the right to be free from chemical restraints.  This session will discuss:  how unmet needs can lead to unnecessary use of psychotropic medication, side-effects and risks of psychotropic medication, best practice for pre-psychotropic medication use documentation, defining the care team, eliminating barriers, interacting with pharmacists and doctors, alternatives to psychotropic medication, the GDR process, quality of life issues and future goals with regard to psychotropic medication use.
Business Track Level of Need: the Challenges of Obtaining, Maintaining and Changing Shelly Heck and Janet Simoneau, Unified Care Group At times you might be faced with providing needed supports and services to an individual while not being reimbursed for the correct LON.  What do you do when an individual enrolls or transfers into your program with an inaccurate LON?  What do you do to maintain appropriate LON’s when UR might recommend an LON decrease.  What do you do when an individual’s LON needs to be increased based on behavioral needs or based on changing needs for supports and services.  Obtaining and maintaining an accurate LON are necessary to support the service level an individual needs to be successful in the community.  This session will help attendees gain skills needed to manage LON issues to include identifying commonly missed opportunities to request an increase.
Life Enrichment Track Employment First Initiatives and Projects Donnie Wilson and Monty Chamberlain, DADS During this session, information will be provided concerning several current employment initiatives underway at the agency.  Mr. Wilson will provide an overview of current activities and events of each project.  Mr. Chamberlain will present information specific to the Employment Recruitment Coordinator activities and results over the last year in working with employers statewide and provide information on planned activities moving forward.
11:00 – 11:10 Break- Conference Grand Prize Winner
11:10-12:00 Breakouts
Medical Track Reducing Psych Med Use Pt. 2 Donald Lackey, RPh, DADS Quality Management This session will continue  the discussion on the topic of reducing the use of psych medication in patients.
Business Track National Trends and Disabilities Diane McCombs, ANCOR Wondering where the field of disabilities is headed in the next few years?  Participants in this session will receive an overview where services and supports for people with disabilities are likely headed during the next several years.  The presentation will tie together information around national demographics, changes within Medicaid, the effects of the recession on state governments, Health Reform, and the desires of people with disabilities and their families.  Join Diane McComb, Liaison to State Associations for the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) for a contemporary look at the latest trends in the field of disabilities.
Life Enrichment Track Master Pooled Trusts & the ABLE Options Kyle Piccola and Haley Greer, The Arc of Texas Too often, the limits that SSI and Medicaid place on personal income levels adversely affects the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts are great tools to use for both daily and long-term planning that contribute to a more meaningful life while keeping means tested benefits.  We will talk about two tools that can help make that dream a reality. The Arc of Texas Master Pooled Trust and the Texas ABLE program are both tools to use when planning for right now and for the future